Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar on Saturday claimed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has surpassed the tax collection target set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year, stressing the country was on track to implementing the bailout program.
Addressing the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) in Karachi, she hoped Pakistan would receive more inflows from multilateral financial institutions once the next tranche from the IMF was approved. Confirming the global lender’s mission would visit Pakistan early next month, she said authorities would briefed it on progress made on implementation of its program.
According to Akhtar, economic growth has rebounded in recent months. She claimed an improved agricultural output would add 2-3 percent to the GDP, while noting industrial activity had yet to yield any significant progress. Referring to the rupee appreciating against the U.S. dollar, she attributed this to administrative measures such as curbs on smuggling and effective border management. She said reforming the regulation of exchange companies had also helped achieve this, emphasizing that preventing the misuse of currency was the responsibility of all institutions.
Acknowledging that inflation remained far too high, she said it was nonetheless on a downward trajectory. Unfortunately, she said, Pakistan was an open economy and external influences such as the war in Ukraine—which boosted prices of oil and other commodities—had an immediate impact.
On the 22 percent policy rate, she said this was determined by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), adding it had resulted in improvements to the country’s current account.
Referring to the government’s “economic recovery plan,” she said small-scale industries could play an important role in achieving this goal.